I mean, if we had beaten Milwaukee and Brooklyn last week, the Raptors would be going into the All-Star break with an 11-game winning streak. Of course, there were a lot of games during that stretch that probably could have gone the other way too, so no one's going to complain.
It really is pretty remarkable. We're going to nitpick this team because as currently constructed, it is definitely not championship ready. But it feels fun to know that we've graduated from team no one talks about to team people talk about and pick apart. Of course, we've been here before, with Vince Carter, with Chris Bosh. Those eras came with playoff appearances, but success was very fleeting. Who knows where this season ends up. There are still a bunch of games left. Injuries happen, a lot of other things can happen. But for right now until next week, I'm definitely going to enjoy this first half and a nice little three-game winning streak to wrap up.
Notes and quotes:
- I'm all for Lou Williams having good nights -- and we definitely got Good Lou last night: 27 points, 8-for-16 shooting, huge shots in the fourth quarter -- but I also feel for the guy at the Raptors game who has to run from one end of the court to the other waiving that Lou flag. I'm sure a part of him was pretty happy when Lou went 2-for-23 over two games last week
- That jumper from DeRozan to win it. Classic DeRozan. Exactly the type of shot he loves to take, exactly the type of shot he somehow makes (on occasion)
- DREW GOODEN??
- The Wizards were without Bradley Beal and he was definitely missed. By the way, I love how Paul Pierce holds the current title for "player Raptors fans hates the most." Amuses me the villains we tend to attract. Actually, might be a good idea to do a list of them. Most of them are just former players! Filed under "ideas for later."
- Another "ideas for later": show the Lou Will experience in graph form, by charting his game-to-game points total and field goal percentage
- Have to halt construction on the James Johnson statue. Two quick fouls, some spacing problems when he was out there. Johnson had a few corner three attempts which he passed up. Finished 3-for-4 from the field, best finisher at the basket on the team right now
- From Holly MacKenzie's recap, Dwane Casey post-game on if he's satisfied with the team's record: “No, we’re not done yet. I’ve won 60 games before and won a championship, and I know what it takes. You might not believe it but I do. A lot of false things can mask mistakes. There is another level we can get to on offence and defence, so you can’t get too high or low. There were stretches tonight when you might think we already left for vacation, but what I liked is they kept grinding. We’re not going to out-talent anybody, we’ve got to do it collectively.”
- All-Star break, then four road games starting in Atlanta next week. Raptors are 3-0 in this stretch of eight consecutive games against quality opponents so far. Enjoy Kyle Lowry's first All-Star appearance this weekend.